In response to the Governor’s recent declaration of drought conditions in the State of Kansas, the City of Topeka is asking residents to consider voluntary conservation measures in their water usage. There are no restrictions being placed on water usage and the action requested is fully voluntary.
“We are asking for voluntary water conservation at this time,” said Pam Simecka, Interim City Manager.
Water conservation tips include:
· Take shorter showers
· Wash full loads of clothes and dishes
· Turn the water off and on when brushing teeth or shaving
· Limit outdoor watering and use a soaker hose for plants
· Avoid hosing down sidewalks, patios and driveways.
· Repair leaky faucets and toilets
The City of Topeka has experienced high water usage by its customers in recent weeks but is still well within water treatment capabilities. The City of Topeka draws its water from the Kansas River which has traditionally provided a reliable source of water. The City of Topeka is a member of the Kansas River Water Assurance District No. 1 which owns storage in the large reservoirs along the Kansas River, most notably for Topeka, the Tuttle Creek and Milford Reservoirs. No releases of the stored water have been requested this year. The City has also invested in the construction of a weir across the Kansas River which directs water during low flows to the intakes of the water treatment facility.
“You may currently see low water flows in the Kansas River as you cross the bridges but there continues to be plenty of water to meet customer water demands,” said Braxton Copley, director of Utilities and Transportation. “While we are producing more water than average, we still have plenty of treatment capability and we haven’t reached the point that would trigger requests from the Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates reservoirs, to release water from upstream reservoirs.”
The City has specific policies and procedures in place based on City ordinance regarding water conservation other than voluntary. The process begins with the Public Works Director declaring a local water emergency.